ADHD/ADD Attention Deficit Disorder – Family Life Today
ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are neurobiological disorders; they are life-long and unless attended to – ADHD/ADD can destroy, family life, friendships, partnerships, and marriages. This article focuses on ADD- attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity and impulsivity;the advice and tips are useful for all.
A few facts about ADD
- It exists and it can cause havoc to relationships, family life, school, careers, and general daily functioning.
- Research shows that it is a chemical problem in the brain.
- It affects males and females.
- The symptoms differ from person to person in type and intensity.
- It cannot be cured.
- Many people with ADD have a family member with the same condition.
- It can also cause low self-esteem problems and anxiety.
- It can be managed by a combination of lifestyle changes that include:
- A strong daily exercise program;
- Changes in diet – take out all the whites – white sugar, white flour – increase whole grains, proteins, fruit, and vegetables;
- Saying goodbye to coffee;
- Dietary supplements, omega 3 and 6 and Vitamin B supplements;
- Taking medication – a last resort.
There are many types and levels of ADD- a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes a shortage of the very substances that are needed to deal with attention span, focusing, planning, organization, follow through and motivation. Another downside of this chemical deficiency is that you never know when it is going to occur, how big it will be, and how long it will last. Eventually, you learn to recognize the signs, but to act effectively other steps have to take place first.
Steps the person with ADD needs to take:
- Admit there is a problem that makes life unmanageable.
- Admit responsibility for mishaps.
- Admit that the cause of the problem cannot be cured but can be managed.
- Agree to take and heed advice from professionals, be it: neuropsychologists, psychologists, or life-coaches trained in ADD management.
Steps the couple needs to take:
- Work as a team/partnership to help compensate for each other and manage damage control.
- Rearrange their lives as much as possible to avoid problems.
- Read good quality articles about the disorder or do coaching together.
- Stop blaming one another.
- Make a list of strengths and weaknesses and rearrange routines accordingly
- Divide tasks according to the above list.
- Accept that things will go wrong in the future.
- Enter into a strong daily routine.
- Make sure that everything has a place and things stay or return to that place.
The non-ADD partner needs to:
- understand the problem;
- know the behaviors are planned or intentional;
- separate the problem from the person;
- reduce their partner’s mental overload;
- be supportive and patient;
- thank your lucky stars that you do not have this disorder;
- get used to using the words “never mind” regularly.
Accept ADD and learn to live with it
Attention Deficit Disorder puts an unbearable strain on relationships; however, with professional support from an ADD coach and a lot of understanding and determination you can change your lives and improve your relationships. It’s hard, it’s a process, but you can survive it.
Mistakes will happen
You’ll still go camping without the tent poles and the dog might be left in the car overnight by mistake, but you just have to:
- accept the funny side
- know it’s incurable and can surface at anytime
- add the phrase “so what, it could be worse” into your daily vocabulary.
Experts in the Field of ADD
To help work on marriage and relationships, I strongly recommend reading books and articles by the following well-known experts, researchers and those ‘in the know’ in the field of ADHD/ADD; some of whom also have ADHD/ADD in their own families.